, 2022-07-09 09:00:00,
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Imagine being able to kayak through rapids during the day, have a picnic and then walking to hear your favorite band at the Orion Amphitheater.
Sound a bit far-fetched? Actually no.
Plans are underway to add rapids to Apollo Park, the home of the newly opened amphitheater in Mid-City Huntsville.
“It’s not going to be Nantahala rapids, but it will be an opportunity for people to get into the water and paddle their canoes or kayaks around,” Huntsville Parks and Recreation Director James Gossett said. “I think it will be a great experience.”
Improvements at Apollo Park are among 12 parks and recreation projects either underway or in the planning stages, Gossett said during an event Wednesday proclaiming July as Parks and Recreation Month in Huntsville.
:Some of them are small as drainage projects at playgrounds,” he said. “And some of them are Joe Davis-size projects. They are across the spectrum and across the city. It’s not just one location.”
It’s all part of an expansion that’s seen the City spend more than $100 million within the last decade to improve the park and recreation system, Gossett said.
The City of Huntsville has 60 parks, 15 recreation and community centers, 100 athletic fields, and 50-plus miles of trails and greenways with activities from sand volleyball to skateboarding, dog parks to disc golf, and coming soon: kayaking and canoeing on rapids.
“We continue to look at different spaces and the different needs of our community,” Gossett said.
The addition of rapids isn’t the only upgrade coming to Apollo Park.
“We’re also putting in an outdoor fitness exercise piece in conjunction with Arts Huntsville,” he said. “It will really be a neat amenity there.”
Gossett said the City is finishing up the design for the park.
“There was some preliminary construction done,” he said. “Hopefully later this year, we’ll see that get underway.”
Construction on another park, Legacy Park, will be getting underway a lot sooner.
“Some of the contractors have already been out on site,” Gossett said. “We expect by the end of the month, you’ll start seeing construction.”
Legacy Park, in north Huntsville, is being constructed on the site of former Johnson High School and will be tied into the Johnson Legacy Center, which opened 2020.
“It’s going to be a multi-use park there with a…
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